He's the ruthlessly ingenious drug lord 'Stringer' Bell in The Wire, the obsessive Detector Chief Inspector in Luther, and now the star of the long-awaited biopic of Nelson Mandela. Idris Elba inhabits each role as if he were born to play it. But what of the man himself? In this, the first biography of the onscreen legend, Nadia Cohen reveals Elba's life behind the lens, exploring what makes him so ambitious, adaptable and endlessly watchable. From humble beginnings, a second generation immigrant born in Hackney, London, Elba set up his own DJ company at the age of 14 and, encouraged by his drama teacher to pursue his natural talent, won a place at the National Youth Music Theatre on leaving school. Now a world-class rapper and DJ as well as an actor and international pin-up, his work ethic is impressive, but not more so than his enthusiasm for what he does. From bit parts to blockbusters, East Ham to Atlanta, his career has reached dizzying heights. So now what, Elba?